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USPS Price Rollback: The 4.2% Bonus

Posted by Steven Sheck, President, Infinite Media

April 11, 2016

The exigent price increase granted to the United States Postal Service as a way to recover lost revenue in the wake of the Great Recession expired on April 10, 2016. While debate continued until the eleventh hour, the direct mail industry has just received what should be a welcome discount.

Market dominant rates will decline 4.2% for the following Standard Mail products:

  • Letters
  • Flats
  • Carrier route letters, flats & parcels
  • High density saturation letters
  • High density saturation flats & parcels
  • Parcels
  • Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) – Retail

Give your campaign a 4.2% raise. Since this has been in the wind for awhile, mailers must surely have been calculating how to re-allocate their budgets.

Mail 4.2% more pieces? Some mailers may be at a volume inflection point; print more and save. It now pays to check with your printing supplier to see how much the reduction can add to volume savings.

Physical mail tends to be retrieved every day. Each piece is seen and touched. Such conscious actions enable a direct mail offer, if well-designed and pleasingly tactile, to make a positive impression and be set aside for consideration,especially in today’s less crowded mailbox. So perhaps invest savings in better stock, or include a sturdy response card.

Postal direct mail has key advantages over email-only campaigns. It is too easy for people to delete the torrent of email that overloads their in-box, and attention.

Direct mail integrates well with online channels. QR codes and PURLS allow physical direct mail to function as a front end for online content. This can work a couple of ways. If recipients have saved a direct mail piece that interests them, spurring that interest with email that refers to your offer may prompt action. If people have seen an email (where subject lines are key), or an online ad for your offer, the seeds have been planted for their response.

Discounts are great, waste is not. With greater numbers deliverability becomes even more important. If increasing mail volume is appealing, take a hard look at your mailing list. Ensure completeness by using append services for businesses or consumers. Mailing list hygiene and data cleaning is key.

Then again the temptation is great to stuff the savings in a mattress. It is for each mailer to decide if that is how the money may best be put to work. Visit the Postal Explorer website for full infomation about the rate rollback.

Whatever course is taken, one of the biggest chunks of direct mail cost has been reduced by 4.2%. Your potential budget for the number, content and quality of your mail pieces has just increased. Think hard about that, and use it wisely.

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